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    USS Bulkeley Holds Change of Command

    NORFOLK, VA, UNITED STATES

    08.20.2021

    Story by Lt.Cmdr. Desiree Frame 

    Carrier Strike Group 12

    Cmdr. Devine R. Johnson relieved Cmdr. Luis A. Gonzalez as Commanding Officer (CO) of USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) during a shipboard change of command ceremony aboard Naval Station Norfolk, Aug. 20, 2021.

    The change of command marks the 20th anniversary of Bulkeley’s commissioning and acceptance from Huntington Ingalls on December 8, 2001, with then commanding officer and current Secretary of the Navy, Carlos del Toro at the helm.

    Gonzalez, a career destroyerman, assumed command in February 2020, after the commencement of the ship’s comprehensive modernization. During his time onboard as Executive Officer and later as CO, he led the ship through a 28-month maintenance availability and return to at-sea operations consisting of basic and unit-level certifications, preparing Bulkeley for forward deployed service in the U.S 6th Fleet.

    “Bulkeley and her Wolfpack continue to embody the spirit and legacy of her namesake, Admiral Bulkeley, displaying unsurpassed vigor and commitment to mission success as we engaged all challenges, fought through adversity, and won the day,” said Gonzalez. “This crew is fit to fight, bringing lethality to an already impressive warship. It was my highest honor and privilege to lead them back to sea! Simply put – there is no better ship, and no finer crew.”

    Johnson served as the ship’s XO for 18 months before relieving Gonzalez. He began his naval career aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48), and followed with tours aboard USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72).

    “There is no greater honor than being the commanding officer of a United States warship, and I look forward to returning to Bulkeley and continuing the great work she and her crew have begun,” said Johnson.

    Retired Captain Peter Bulkeley, the son of the ship’s namesake, attended the change of command as guest speaker. Fifteen members of the Bulkeley family joined in the celebration, including ship’s sponsors Joan Bulkeley-Stade, Diana Bulkeley-Heuman and Carol Bulkeley.

    Commissioned in New York City in 2001, the Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer is named for World War II hero, and Medal of Honor recipient, Vice Admiral John Duncan Bulkeley.

    Homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, the ship is assigned to Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) and falls under Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12. SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of nearly 80 ships and more than 30 shore commands.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.20.2021
    Date Posted: 08.24.2021 20:02
    Story ID: 403696
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 37
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN